Monthly Archives: August 2012


The theme of Sacred Harvest Festival this year was shrines.  That’s where I was camping at the beginning of the month and where I also presented two workshops (neither of them about shrines.)

Shrine to Cernunos Irish Lord of the Hunt

I  really enjoy visiting shrines.  I’m fond of the side chapels in churches.  I like walking through cemeteries.  I nod at the statues in Asian restaurants.  I’m happy to stop and rest on memorial benches and enjoy the view.  I readily light a candle, or a stick of incense or drop a bit of libation when invited to participate in the honoring of a shrine.

Visiting a shrine is like meeting the relatives.  It’s a level of intimacy that, although usually not too risky, isn’t something where participating makes everyone who visits comfortable.  A shrine, like the relatives, must be approached with a willingness to simply accept them as they are.  Shrines are a gift to and from those who tend them.

I notice shrines when I visit peoples homes, even when they are tucked away and unremarked upon.  Some shrines are a very conscious part of a spiritual practice.  Some are entirely unconscious as though shrines are hardwired into our genetics.  Photos collected with the dead relatives in one cluster and the living in another are effective ancestor shrines.  Collections of shells from a visit to the ocean or acorns, or stones often honor the memory of a place.   People have shrines to music, and art, and literature which they honor but do not necessarily acknowledge in a conscious way.

An unconscious shrine to love and marriage

In my book, Manifest Divinity, I identify the Divine very broadly.  I suggest that anything that produces that feeling of awe is inherently a manifestation of the Divine.  Shrines, for me, are a way for people to connect with the Divine in their day to day lives.  By visiting them I get a chance to touch the Divine the way others experience it and expand my own experience and understanding.

Buddha in the snow

Here are a few more shrines:

Can shrines be portable? Prayer beads of Earth Conclave

Or temporary? Place setting for a dinner in honor of the Red Dragon

Ancestors of the blood, of the heart or of the spirit can be honored in ancestor shrines

Shrine to Epony. Do you know a girl with a shrine to horses?

I am of the Divine and the Divine is in me.

What shrines do you keep in your home or visit regularly?


Manifest Divinity

I’m not burying the lead today:  My book, Manifest Divinity, is now out, released, available for purchase!!!

My photo of their page on my screen. Is that a copyright violation?

I’ve opened a new fan page on face book  Lisa Spiral and encourage everyone to like it.

I’m Celebrating!!   and scrambling to plan some kind of book release/local author/book signing event.

Sadly, what I’m not doing is a lot of actual writing.  Go figure.

My hope is that I’ll be back on the keyboards pounding away this week and that by next week the blog will have, maybe not more excitement, but more content.

In the meantime I sincerely hope that you will spread the word, buy the book and encourage others to as well.  I’d love for some of you readers to write up a review for Amazon (I’ll remind you in a few months I promise.  🙂  )  Like the face book page and stay in touch.

Thank you all for your great encouragement and support!!


After a week of camping and returning to a lonesome kitty who won’t leave my side (or lap) I am in allergy hell and can’t manage to put a coherent thought together for this blog.

Lap Cat

I went for my allergy shots today and the nurse sent me back home to take some Benadryl and maybe come back on Friday.   It’s pretty sad, but sometimes our bodies just demand a little downtime.

I’m also pausing because……….     The book is coming out this month!!!!!

The anticipation is killing me, but here’s the info that the publisher has sent out announcing the imminent release of Manifest Divinity.

Manifest Divinity Book Information

Immanion Press 

8 Rowley Grove, Stafford, ST17 9BJ, UK

Manifest Divinity

Lisa Spiral Besnett

Published August 2012

Catalogue Number: MB157

ISBN: 978-1-905713-80-6

Price: £9.99; $18.99; $15.90 AusD; $15.90 CanD

116 Pages

Cover Artist: Storm Constantine/Danielle Lainton

Editor: Marianne Braendlin

Interior Layout: Taylor Ellwood

Cover Text

Many people in today’s world are searching for something to fill a spiritual need.  We are yearning for a more personal relationship with the Divine.  We long for the magic, the Awe of a fulfilling spiritual life.

Manifest Divinity is about welcoming the Divine into our lives.  Honoring the individual’s personal relationship with the Divine, we explore the many opportunities for Divine presence in our daily lives.  Not only is this book an overview of the different ways the Divine may manifest, but it is also a beginning tool to enhance the developing personal relationship between the reader and Divine.

Awe is heavily underrated, but it is a sign of Divine presence.  The author’s intention with this book is to open up the readers understanding of the wide variety of Divine presence while respecting their personal religious framework.  You might say she is on a mission to promote Awe-some-ness and bring enchantment back into our daily lives.

Reviews, Interviews and Bookings: Contact Publicity Rep: Larisa Hunter at

More next week on both the trip and the book.


Housekeeping has never been my strong suit.  I was almost 30 before someone showed me that the stovetop lifts up so you can clean UNDER the burners.  Who knew?

I’m not horrible, but I was.  My freshman year of college I was still living at home, going to the local University.  I had years of junk accumulated in my room – most of it on the floor.   I could pretty much put my hands on anything I might want.  Maybe it was a subconscious tactic to keep my sisters out of my room.  No one but me could walk through without fear of stepping on something with disastrous result.  Even I would occasionally pull an embroidery needle out of a bare foot.

One afternoon we had a fire.  It was pretty dramatic.  My mother caught it in time to call the fire department and save the structure.  But everything was badly smoke damaged and the kitchen was gutted.  The men who cleaned out the house and packed it all up were either sent by the insurance company or the fire marshall.  I’m told they took one look at my room and took out the shovels.  Literally shoveled my “stuff” into boxes for storage.  How embarassing!   Never again!  The blog post on Clutter is a pale comparison.

Bonita and my kitchen floor.

What I can do is cook.  I don’t even remember when I started cooking on my own.  I know I had kids cookbooks pretty much from the time I was in grade school.  I’ve always been interested in food and experimenting.  Both of my parents cook, read recipes for fun and are adventurous about food from other cultures.  Our “standard Christmas dinner” wasn’t standard at all.  We would pick a country around Thanksgiving and then my folks would do some research and come up with a menu that reflected that cuisine.

At 7 years old, cheese stuffed peaches with horseradish weren’t at all appealing.  They still don’t sound nearly as good as they taste.  The year they did Beef Wellington my sister brought McDonalds carry out to the table because she wouldn’t have anything to do with Pate.  We almost burned the house down again the year my Dad and the sons-in-law did a dinner of Chinese appetizers.  3 men and 3 hot woks in a small alley kitchen, with me in and out coordinating.  Can you picture it?  My mother sat white knuckled in the easy chair.  It was not the break for her that we had intended.

I’ve done camp cooking, event cooking, rituals that centered on the food.   I’ve learned a lot about diets, nutrition, allergies and accommodation.   You’ve seen the pie in the Lammas blog and the wild rice soup in Leftovers.  I didn’t actually use a recipe for either of them.  I tend to do a lot of my cooking “off the cuff.”  Sometimes I blow it, but mostly it’s good and occasionally I can be brilliant.

So 500 words in and I finally  get to the topic of this week’s post: Barter.  My dear friend Bonita has some serious food restrictions.  She’s really trying to get healthy and improve her diet.  She can follow a recipe, but she doesn’t love to cook.  What she does love is cleaning, especially bathrooms.  She says it’s like a meditation.  Do you see where this is going?

Bag of frozen dinners complete with post-it instructions.

My dear friend Bonita comes by once a month just to work her way through my list of household chores I haven’t managed to “get around to.”  Sometimes they are actually chores that I don’t even have a clue about how to approach!  In return I fill her bag with single serving frozen dinners.  Homemade and entirely appropriate for her current diet, which is currently gluten, nightshade, and dairy free.

We both seem to be enjoying the challenge.  I know I’m enjoying a much cleaner house!

Have you ever used barter to get something you need?

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